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Accordionist and vocalist Sheryl Cormier is one of the first women to break through the sexist restrictions of LouisianaÆs Cajun music. A former leader of an all-women Cajun band, Cormier is currently the leader of Cajun Sounds, a group that features Isaac Miller, Jr. (steel guitar/vocals), Ben Goodwin (drums), Ivy Dugas (bass) and Travis Matte (fiddle).
The oldest of four children, Cormier grew up surrounded by Cajun music. Her father was the leader of the Sunset Playboys, a band that included her mother on drums. Learning to play the Cajun accordion at age seven, Cormier performed with her parentsÆ group throughout her teens. Although she left the band when she got married, she continued to play occasionally with the group as well as with other similar bands. As a bandleader, Cormier assembled a group that featured her husband, Russell, on vocals and son Russell, Jr. on drums, and recorded an album, Queen of Cajun Music (La Reine de Musique Cadjine). In 1990 CormierÆs second album, Sheryl Cormier and Cajun Sounds, was released two years later and was recorded with her present band.